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Negros Oriental Celebrates International Museum Week

By: Penn T. Larena

Every year since 1977, all museums over the world are invited by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) to participate in this day to promote the role of museums around the world, and to raise awareness that "museums are a vital method of cultural interchange, enrichment of cultures, and growth of mutual understanding, collaboration, and peace among people," says the ICOM. The events and activities planned to commemorate International Museum Day (IMD) might span a day, a weekend, or a whole week, and are held on or around May 18th each year. For the first time in 40 years, IMD was commemorated. International Museum Day is becoming more and more popular across the world. Last year, almost 37,000 museums from 158 countries and territories took part in the event.

Jara Carballo, Gemma Iso, Penn Larena, Maria Isabel, Roma Jane Hechanova, and Genesis Dimatulac at Silliman Hall
Jara Carballo, Gemma Iso, Penn Larena, Maria Isabel, Roma Jane Hechanova, and Genesis Dimatulac at Silliman Hall

A simple celebration was held in Dumaguete City with the Negros Oriental History and Heritage Society under the leadership of Sir Penn T. Larena and Negros Oriental Arts and Culture Office under the leadership of our cultural officer Gemma Minda Laxina Iso.

The group visited the five museums in the City including the Silliman University (SU) Laura Hibbard Heritage Museum, Silliman Memorabilia at the Robert B. & Metta J. Silliman Library, SU Anthropology Museum, St. Paul University - Dumaguete Handuraw Heritage Museum, and Museo de Vicente in Foundation University.

Mr. Moses Joshua B. Atega, Heritage Advocate touring the group in Silliman University
Mr. Moses Joshua B. Atega, Heritage Advocate touring the group in Silliman University

Silliman University Laura Hibbard Heritage Museum is a museum project of the Silliman Alumni Association, Inc. Dumaguete Chapter, led by Prof. Gladys Rio Malayang and former chapter president Leo Dennis G. Mamicpic, was approved by University President Dr. Betty Cernol McCann, who had the brilliant idea of having this at Silliman Hall instead of being part of a Missionary Home restoration project as originally presented to the Board of Trustees.

Silliman Anthropology Museum was the first museum in Negros Oriental. An extensive collection of archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, the Anthropology Museum was established in 1970.

Handuraw Heritage Museum was established in 2004 during the Centennial Celebration of St. Paul University Dumaguete (SPUD) as the country’s oldest school part of the Saint Paul University System. with the help of the Friends of St. Paul with Sr. Pura Villanueva SPC, Flores Clan, and the Pinili Clan family members who were mostly Paulinians.

Museo de Vicente is a museum dedicated to the founder of Foundation University Dr. Vicente G. Sinco most of his memorabilia is on display. The Cultural Officer Alexie Dagaerag Miraflor toured the beautiful campus and the Sinco Social Garden.

In Negros Oriental there are other private Museums worth a visit including Tanjay Museum from St. James the Greater Parish Church, The Vicente Lopez Museum of the Vallehermoso Helping Hand Foundation, Mammal Bone Museum of Silliman University, Cata-al World War 2 Museum in Valencia town, and the future Peace Museum of the Philippine Army of Camp Leon Kilat

While there will be youngsters filling their minds with foolishness, you have the power to fill your children's heads with information and heritage respect on International Museum week.

The International Museum week was made possible with the generosity of the following people Prof. Bing Aguilar Head of OIP of Silliman University, Silliman Fine Arts Program, Silliman Alumni Office, Moses Atega for giving us the best history of Silliman University, Prof. Connie Cadelińa of the SU Anthropology Museum, Sr. Joseline Lasala SPC, Annabella Monte de Ramos, Dr Jane Galera, FU Cultural Officer Alexie Dagaerag Miraflor, Arch Horhe Adrian Z. Abcede NOHHS Chairman Museum and Monument Committee, and Myla Mae Bromo Abellana.

The event was organized by the Negros Oriental Tourism Office, Negros Oriental Arts and Cultural Office, Negros Oriental History and Heritage Society, and Buglas Reading Club, in cooperation with the local universities in the city.

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